• Frequently Asked Questions

    What is Technology?
    The word technology is used to describe many things in our school and in the world around us. As we advance into the new millennium, no one can ignore that we live in a very technical world. This exponential rate of technical change has produced many items such as the personal computer, the cell phone and the internet. All of these artifacts are commonly referred to as technology. Similarly, our computer lab is referred to as the “Technology Lab”.

    So, what is technology? We know that the suffix “logy” is defined as, the study of, and the Greek word "techne" describes manmade objects. If we use Biology, Geology, and Astrology as examples, then is it correct to say that techno-logy is the study of manmade things? Is the computer technology, or is it an artifact resulting from the process of technology?

    Aristotle defined techne as, “the systematic use of knowledge for intelligent human action.”

    a: Human Innovation in action that involves the generation of knowledge and processes to develop systems that solve problems and extend human capabilities.
    b: The innovation, change, or modification of the natural environment to satisfy perceived human needs and wants.
    (Standards for Technological Literacy Definition-ITEA)

    "Broadly speaking, technology is how people modify the natural world to suit their own purposes. From the Greek word techne, meaning art or artifice or craft, technology literally means the act of making or crafting, but more generally it refers to the diverse collection of processes and knowledge that people use to extend human abilities and to satisfy human needs and wants." (Excerpt from Standards for Technological Literacy, ITEA, 2000)

    What is Technology Education?
    Technology Education in Upper Saddle River is a field of study where students explore many aspects of technology. It is a hands-on, activity based program that explores the impacts of past, present and future technological developments. Students are challenged to utilize resources such as tools, material, people, time, energy and knowledge to solve real world problems. Technology Education has the unique ability to bridge the gap between many areas of our school’s curriculum. Language Arts, Social Studies, Math and Science skills are applied in meaningful ways to develop students’ understanding of technology and the world around us.

    Why is technological literacy important for all students to achieve?

    In the days before Gutenberg, literacy was limited primarily to scholars and the upper class. Common folks could exist comfortably without the need to read or write. With advances in technology such as the printing press, literacy became a fundamental part of everyday existence. Today, technology is expanding at an incomprehensible rate and the new benchmark for every student is technological literacy.

    We live in a highly technical society that continues to evolve. Every aspect of modern life involves technology in some way. As citizens of the twenty first century we must understand and make informed decisions about a multitude of technological innovations. Whether at home or in the workplace, in a doctor's office or a voting booth, we must understand technology.

    Technology is not an object like a satellite radio or fuel cell; it is the process by which mankind generates solutions to technical challenges. In the classroom, students must learn the process of technology by working cooperatively to solve complex, authentic problems. The method by which they learn is as important as the content. Technology educators teach students how to learn a lifelong skill that will promote success in their academic, professional and personal lives.

    The development of technological literacy must begin at the earliest stages of every child's life. Technology should be utilized on all grade levels as an interdisciplinary link to each segment of the curriculum. It is essential for all students to achieve technological literacy; it's the key that will unlock the wonders of tomorrow.

    When do students have Technology?
    All Cavallini Middle School students have Technology Education each year, 6th 7th and 8th. Students have Technology for one marking period every-other-day for 55 minutes.

    What’s in that black box?
    Many people look at high tech devices like DVD players and computers and see only a “black box” with seemingly magical powers at work inside. The Technology Curriculum provides students with the knowledge to comprehend the inner workings of many technological devices. They understand that a technological system is at work inside.

    What is a technological system?
    In the technology classroom students discover what elements make up a system. A technological system includes 4 elements, the input, the process, the output, and feedback. One example of a technological system is the heating system in our school. The INPUT is Natural gas and electricity. The PROCESS includes the burning of the gas in the boiler and the heating of water. The heated water is then distributed to the classrooms through pipes. The OUTPUT is the heat that is extracted from the hot water and the FEEDBACK is the thermostat that tells the boiler when to send the heat to our classroom.

    Is Technology Education a computer class?
    Computers are one of the tools used in the Technology Education classroom but this is not a computer class. It is a class where students learn about technology and technological developments.

    What is High Tech?
    The term High Tech (High Technology) describes what is cutting edge in technological development today. High Tech devices of today will be common place tomorrow. Sliced bread was high tech only 70 years ago. A century ago coffee machines, refrigerators, dishwashers and the portable vacuum were all new high-tech devices. 7000 years ago technology allowed the cave man to create fire. Its hard to imagine what will be high tech 10, 20 or 50 years from now.

    What is the Problem Solving process?
    In the Technology Education classroom students learn by solving real world problems. They utilize a problem solving process that helps them break down a problem into its basic elements. Students learn how to identify what the problem is and the required criteria for a proper solution. They gather information from a variety of sources and brainstorm ideas. Students learn that there is not only one correct answer, many ways exist to solve a given problem. They develop several possible solutions and evaluate the merits of each. Once the idea is chosen, a prototype is constructed using the appropriate resources. The final step in our problem solving model is to evaluate and redesign.
    A typical challenge has built-in variable and control elements with limits on some of the resources such as, time, materials and tools. Students work in groups to solve many problems but others are done with one partner or alone.


    Technology Quotes.

    "Technology is applied human knowledge."
    John H. Gibbons, U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment.

    "Technology Education is applying math, science, and technology; solving practical problems, using knowledge, tools and skills. It's action based, it's exploring careers, it's increasing ones potential and it's fun."
    Kendall Starkweather, Executive Director ITEA.

    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    Arthur C. Clarke

    "Technology...It's like science, but useful."
    - Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

    We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything
    about science and technology.
    Carl Sagan

    "The leaders of tomorrow will be those who best understand high technology now.
    "Lee Iacocca, Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Chrysler Corporation.

    "We know that high technology and computerization will play an increasing role in our homes, and in our workplaces. Consequently, students must become technologically literate."
    Governor Tommy Thompson, Announcing the Commission on Schools.

    It should be noted that being technologically capable does not mean possessing job specific skills. Consequently, the technology curriculum does not provide training programs for job specific skills. Vocational, occupational and technical programs address these goals. It is not necessary that students become expert 'repair persons' of any one particular piece of equipment, but they must be able to make intelligent decisions regarding the selection of appropriate systems, and be able to use them effectively.
    (U.S. Department of Labor, 1991).​​